Recovery refers to the ways in which a person with a mental illness and/or addiction experiences and manages his or her disorder in the process of maintaining and/or reclaiming his or her life in the community. Recovery does not necessarily mean cure or elimination of the effects of the illness/addiction, and may mean living with the effects of medications or accommodations required to function to the person’s full potential.

Recovery views illness or disability as only one aspect of a person who has assets, strengths, interests, aspirations and the desire and ability to continue to be in control of his or her own life. This includes reducing and eliminating symptoms through medication, therapy and support.

Recovery requires access to suitable and adequate resources for necessities including income through employment or income support, housing, social support and inclusion in community as well as necessary health services.

Recovery assumes that persons who experience mental illness and/or addictions have the same civil rights as other citizens. Basic human rights enable the person to live with respect and dignity from others, and with self-respect and self-determination for themselves.

CMHA’S, Practice Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Behavioural Health Care, 2006